NPA Mobilizes Grassroots in Support of Historic Expansion of Access to Nutritional Supplements
WASHINGTON, D.C. – An amendment included in the Senate’s budget resolution as part of the reconciliation process would expand health savings accounts (HSA), health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts (FSA) to cover dietary supplements.
This effort is part of a broader goal by the Natural Products Association (NPA) to expand access to nutritional supplements for all communities through the tax code and assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
The amendment was introduced by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tim Scott (R-SC) and mirrors a bill introduced in 2020 by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). Senator Lee spoke in support of the amendment during a floor speech, emphasizing the importance of providing American consumers the option to use health savings accounts to purchase supplements.
NPA’s effort comes as mounting evidence suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and serious COVID-19 illnesses. Experts in the U.S. and around the world have urged policymakers to consider the benefits of vitamin D supplements to help support immune systems and prevent serious illnesses.
“We very much appreciate the leadership of Senators Lee, Cramer, and Scott in this critical area. A proposal such as this one ensures all Americans, including our most vulnerable have equal access to supplements,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., President and CEO of NPA. “Expanding access to supplements benefits everyone, not only as we turn the corner in this pandemic but also in the long run. We urge our members to contact their elected officials and let them know how important this common-sense change is to the health of millions of Americans.”
NPA recently launched a grassroots campaign to rally support for the bill. More information about NPA’s grassroots effort can be found here.
Nutritional supplements play an important role in supporting the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world, especially those who are from areas without adequate access to nutritious foods:
- Zinc deficiency can compromise immune function and increase the risk of infection, affecting an estimated 30% of the global population.
- A World Health Organization (WHO) report specifically zinc supplementation and immunity respiratory viruses in children.
- According to available data, 95 percent of adults and 98 percent of teens have an inadequate vitamin D intake and 61 percent of adults and 90 percent of teens do not get enough magnesium.
- More than23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts – areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.